Author Topic: Will Sjogrens end your career?  (Read 3907 times)


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Will Sjogrens end your career?
« on: November 08, 2010, 05:07:16 PM »
Hey everyone

               I was recently diagnosed with sjogrens . So far I'm experiencing the dry eyes and dry mouth and some ear trouble. I'm 30 years old and after reading many posts (about how horrible a disease this is) I'm worried about my future. How are people dealing with sjogrens and maintaining a career? Did anyone get diagnosed young and was able to work until retirement? I'm hoping to hear some positive stories
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 05:11:13 PM by Dry1000 »


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 05:41:13 PM »
I am very curious as well. I am 29 and some days I wonder how much longer I can do it. My fatigue is AWFUL. I always say "its my allergies" when my eyes are doing nutty things. For the 1st time when I signed up for my benefits I added short term disability. I can see myself being able to work part time pretty well, but then Id have no insurance and thats pointless..


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 06:33:47 PM »
I wish that I could have a good story.  It was about 14 years ago that my SJS got serious.  However, it was only two years ago that I got a firm diagnosis. Until then, it was like putting out forest fires.

The key to getting diagnosed early is that you have the power to make decisions about your work.  I was a high school teacher and the work load, stress, never being able to use the bathroom almost killed me-- only I thought it was just me, maybe I was lazy, didn't work hard enough.  :(

I'm 42 now.  I just got a call this morning from another high school wanting me to come back full-time. I'd like the retirement and money, but I don't think I can take the stress and the work load anymore.  I have learned that the quality of my life is more important to me than the quanitity. I now work two part-time jobs teaching college-- little stress and it gives me the power to work less hours a semester if I need to.

You will have to sacrifice some things-- especially when this dreaded disease really kicks in.  But I find too that I do better with working some-- it motivates me to get up out of bed. I just can't overdo it.  I dream of a day that I can rest, but by then, I'll probably be so sick that I can't enjoy it.


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 06:41:30 PM »
Hi Dry  :)

Sjogren's is a very individual disease. It can be awful but it can also be reasonably mild. I guess if its not too bad - most sjoggies would not feel the need of a support forum.

I did not get dxd till I was 54 but I was sent to a neurologist when I was 29 because things were not right. I brought up four kids, did various jobs and was thought of as oincredibly lazy by the whole family. NOW they know why I slept at every given opportunity!

When my youngest child was 12 I retrained as a community education worker and ended up in youth work. That was in 1999. I'm still at work and fully intend to work until I retire. Work keeps me sane. It can be done. You can't predict what will happen so it's not good to dwell on it. Take each day as it comes and take opportunities when they arise!

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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 07:01:19 PM »
I did sprint triathlons until age 50....yes, I was sick before and sick then.

(I do not recommend this to the faint of heart, but I survived.)

There is no predicting the course of this disease. Carpe Diem. 

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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 07:30:03 PM »
I do not believe that it has to end your career. I do believe you should work as long as you can. To do that you should remember to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. Get FMLA to help you through the times you can not be at work.

The problem is that if you quit work everything gets harder because you do not have the money you need to live.
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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 11:17:39 PM »
This is such an individual matter. So much depends on what "work" is for you. I no longer have a full-time job as an office administrator. That job was in addition to raising two kids, running the household, and various outside activities such as learning tea ceremony and meditation training.

Now I'm teaching meditation (including leading retreats) and also tea ceremony, and doing a fair amount of volunteer work. I also work in my garden a lot. It may seem like a similar amount of activity, but my time is much more flexible. I can say no to anything when I need to rest, and I don't have an office full of people counting on me. Like Scottie I need work of some kind to feel right. But I've scheduled my time to allow for some rest everyday.

Take care,



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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 03:02:47 AM »
Remember the people you tend to see on message boards such as this are those for whom it has become a major issue. The rest are out living their lives, too busy to join us. What you don't see are the many for whom a lozenge and an aspirin or two does the trick. As kwolf said so well, SS is a very individual disease.
Dxed unspecific 'sicca syndrome' eyes and mouth. Neuro issues, muscle weakness. SS Seronegative but high inflammatory markers. Diabetes dx 2010. Glucose control improved neuromuscular issues. Enlarged thyroid under observation 2013. Yippee.


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 05:30:17 AM »
It did but I didn't know it was Sjogrens at the time.


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 06:39:59 AM »
Hi Dry,

I'm still working full time (need the insurance too), and there are tough days to be sure, but I'm still rolling like the energizer bunny (a lot slower though).  :D

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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 09:10:21 AM »
I have lupus along with sjogrens and I'm still working. I have to admit it's really difficult some days, but I have a desk job and that helps. Desk jobs are easier to last in. I wouldn't attempt to be a letter carrier. I'd fall out before I made it through one street. You may still be able to walk well though.

I found the most important thing to continue my career is to make sure I get enough rest. I work at a computer so, I close and rest my eyes occassionally during the day as well.
I miss the good old days. Things were more like they used to be back then.

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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2010, 12:13:26 PM »
It ended mine, who wants a electrician that cant feel the wires, climb ladders,, or just get up in the morning without tripping over everything, its just how bad you get it,, dry eyes dry mouth,, you might and prob can get by,, I did for a while till all the neuro stuff started,, then it was over with,,


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2010, 12:32:35 PM »
Howdy Dry, these are wonderful posts. Sjogrens can affect us in  different ways.  As you have read, for some it has ended their careers.  :'( For others they are still hanging in there.  It's not easy.  Just before I retired, it was a real effort just to get out of bed to go to work.  I was fortunate, I reached retirement age before my strength gave out.  I think mostly you just need to learn your limits.  If you can do that, you probably will survive in your choose career. 

I wish you all the best
Every day is an adventure, waiting to happen.


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2010, 01:46:31 PM »
Sjogrens and its complications ended my career - but it doesn't end everyone's.  As it has been said already, SJS affects us all differently.  I am currently on medical leave and applying for medical disability from work and from SSDI. 

I was diagnosed in early 2009, but looking back, I have had the disease for many years.  I worked until this past July.  It really is an individual thing!  Best of luck to you!


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Re: Will Sjogrens end your career?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2010, 08:06:11 AM »
I wasn't diagnosed till age 49, and I'm now 51 and can retire at 55.  I consider myself very fortunate.  I have a desk job but it can be quite stressful and requires using my brain and people skills intensely all day.  But I can manage most of the time

I agree with gphx that those on this board tend to be "sicker" than other Sjoggies who are relatively healthy.  By all means, don't fret what may never come to pass.  :-*